Scottsdale Arizona

Scottsdale Travel News: December 2011


This winter and spring, experience the beauty of the Sonoran Desert as you’ve never done before – from the air. Island Air Express, “Desert Splash” Seaplane Adventures will take you to new heights during their inaugural season of aerial tours that showcase Arizona’s most stunning landscapes. The Cessna Caravan Jet-Prop Amphibious Seaplane excursion begins at Southwest Jet Corporate Center at Scottsdale Airport and snakes its way through the Salt River canyons and lakes for bird’s eye views of the rugged, breathtaking terrain that lies 20 miles east of Scottsdale. In just over an hour, you’ll have soared through Salt River Canyon and over Roosevelt Dam and “The Spires,” a rugged sand castle-like rock formation that’s tucked deep inside the Superstition Mountains. You’ll even experience a water landing when the seaplane touches down on the surface of Roosevelt Lake, one of Arizona’s largest bodies of water. With room for up to nine passengers, the seaplane can be booked individually or for a group. Experience a “Desert Splash” Seaplane excursion for $275 per person or customize your tour, starting from $350. Eight-hour custom tours pair a seaplane excursion with hiking, boating, climbing or horseback riding. For media information, contact Colin Williams at or 602-809-4663.


Head to the links this January and February for two memorable tournaments sure to keep your insatiable hunger for golf at bay. Check out the Waste Management Phoenix Open Jan. 30-Feb. 4 to experience “The Greatest Show on Grass.” Every year, Scottsdale’s premiere golf tournament and one of the largest spectator events on the PGA TOUR attracts both fans and socialites for a week of championship golf and parties. This year, spectators can catch the action from a luxurious skybox on the famous 16th hole or on a hillside overlooking the 8th hole. After the golf action, head over to The Coors Light Birds Nest for a legendary party that will be back in full swing Feb. 1-4. The Birds Nest features bands, VIP areas and cabanas from 3:30-10:30 p.m. each day. General admission tickets for this 21-and-over event go on sale this month. For media information, contact Rob Meyers at or 480-348-7540.

To get a sneak peak of the courses that pros play during the Phoenix Open, register for Waste Management Scottsdale Open, a two-person team event for low-handicap players competing in either gross or net division. From Jan. 13-15, 2012, competitors will play at courses that define Scottsdale’s golfing culture including: the Monument Course at Troon North Golf Club, Raptor Course at Grayhawk Golf Club, and Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale – the same course the pros play during the legendary Waste Management Phoenix Open. The cost for each player is $895 and includes three competitive rounds of golf, a gift package, and pairings party and awards ceremony. Teams who rank in the top two of each division will be awarded trophies and prizes. For media information, contact Bill Huffman at or 480-540-1780.


Seventy-five years after Frank Lloyd Wright built Taliesin West against the backdrop of Scottsdale’s McDowell Mountains, the architect and his beloved winter abode live on in infamy. To commemorate Wright’s achievements in the Sonoran Desert and all of Scottsdale’s innovative architects, the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched a website where visitors can print out a guide for a self tour of 30 distinct buildings in the Valley, including Hotel Valley Ho and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art; read about the Phoenix Art Museum’s upcoming Wright exhibit, which opens on Dec. 18 and features rarely seen drawings, scale models, furniture, films and photographs; and enter to win a vacation package that includes airfare, a hotel stay and a private tour of Wright’s former residence. The website’s content spans generations and architectural styles, providing an overview of the life and work of Wright when he first fell in love with the Sonoran Desert as a consulting architect for the Arizona Biltmore in the late 1920s, to the more recent construction of The Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, a building that serves as the entryway into the more than 20,000 acre expanse. For media information, contact Megan Neighbor at or 480-889-2716.


From intimate dinners to large-scale exhibitions, Scottsdale’s arts offerings vary in scope and size and cater to a wide variety of visitors. Back for its 22nd year, the Jan. 14 – March 25, 2012 Celebration of Fine Art is one of Scottsdale’s most notable art shows, featuring 100 artists sprawled across 40,000 square feet of space. Visitors can meet the artists and watch them working in the full spectrum of art media, including oil, watercolor, pastels, sculpture and assemblages to glass, ceramics, stone, furniture, jewelry and more. Works range from realistic to impressionistic, western realism to contemporary, landscapes to still life. In 2012, the event will be held at its new location, just one mile from where it was previously staged. For media information, contact Susan Morrow Potje at or 480-443-7695.

Enjoy Scottsdale’s pristine winter weather and boundless creativity during the 42nd annual Scottsdale Arts Festival March 9-11 at Scottsdale Civic Center Park. Brought to you by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the award-winning event features 200 jury-selected artists from throughout the United States, top-notch live music and entertainment, delicious fare from the Valley’s gourmet specialty food trucks and fun activities for families. For media information, contact Bill Thompson at or 480-874-4626.

Explore Scottsdale’s art culture in a more intimate setting during the Artist in Residence series at The Hermosa Inn, a boutique hideaway . Featuring one artist a month through March 2012, the series pairs a four-course dinner at LON’s, the inn’s signature restaurant, with a meet-and-greet with an acclaimed artist. The artists’ credentials are as varied as their backgrounds: from Colette Peters, a renowned baker who’s been doled the nickname “Lady Gaga of Cakes,” to Beth Ames Swartz, a painter whose work can be found in museums across the country. Guests will first meet the artist in a pre-dinner reception hosted at one of LON’s private patios or amid candlelight at the Inn’s underground wine cellar. After a four course meal, the artist will speak informally with guests and answer questions. Dinner costs $125 per person. For media information, contact Brian Garrido at or 323-206-8293.


Couples can rekindle romance this holiday season and beyond during a retreat at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Sneak away to the Hideaway at building 14 when you book the “Pillow Talk” package and indulge the senses with overnight accommodations in a special adults-only casita guest room. You’ll be greeted with a Love Potion amenity or a pomegranate-champagne cocktail when you arrive. Laze the morning away with breakfast in bed, opting for a romantic menu featuring chocolate pancakes, lobster and marscapone scrambled eggs or luscious raspberry French toast. Or, soothe the effects of last night’s festivities with a Bloody Mary bar and decadent comfort-food breakfast delivered to your door. With deep-soaking tubs and a book of love sonnets in each casita at the Hideaway, couples are sure to enjoy their exclusive retreat at the Four Seasons, nestled in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak. Lovers looking for even more amour can book the romantic Bliss Suite and relax together on an outdoor hammock, take a dip in the private plunge pool or cool off amid the tranquil outdoor garden shower. Pillow Talk package prices start from $459 in spring 2012. For media information, contact Kim Cole at or 480-513-5049.

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